FAMU is trying to raise awareness by celebrating Minority Cancer Awareness Week.
Tommy Mitchell is the director of FAMU's Black Male College of Explorers Program. He's also a cancer survivor. He says having a checkup may well have saved his life.
Tommy says, "It had been two years since I've had any kind of a checkup. Upon insistence of my doctors that they give it to me right away, and it was discovered that I did have cancer."
It was prostate cancer that he could not readily detect. Genetics appear to play a role in cancer, but researchers say there is a complex web of factors that can be attributed to getting the disease.
Dr. Folakemi Odedina, director of the FAMU College of Pharmacy, says, "But apart from gene, you also have lifestyle factors, like your diet. There's also the environment. There may be some toxins in the environment, so it's very complex."
FAMU officials say that young people should educate themselves about the subject, because it could easily affect a loved one.
Dr. Larry Robinson, VP of Academic Affairs, says, "Take this very seriously, very seriously, because if it's not you, it might be your mother or your father."
Researchers say that for now education and early detection are the only things that can potentially save your life or the life of someone close to you.
FAMU's recognition of Minority Cancer Awareness Week will continue with events aimed at educating students on the risks of the life-threatening disease.